Tag: Staff

staff professional positions

EEOC and Caregiver Employment Discrimination

From the EEOC Newsroom: EEOC Releases Information about Employment Discrimination Against Caregivers.
Although this article references COVID-19 situations specifically, discrimination based on a protected characteristics is always prohibited by federal and state laws/regulations. ADVANCE has written about the impacts COVID has had on caregivers in STEM. Articles of particular note are from July 31, 2020, March 10, 2021, and November 12, 2021. Michigan Tech’s Equal Opportunity Compliance and Title IX Office has a lot of resources available including the Protected Class Groups web page, the Equal Opportunity and Notice of Non-Discrimination web page, and lists of the federal/state laws and Michigan Tech policies. If you have any questions, please visit their website.

When Bad Behavior Becomes Sexual Harassment

by Institutional Equity

Sexual harassment is no joke. This topic is no longer off-limits, and allegations are being taken more seriously than ever before. But when does behavior cross from bad to unprofessional to sexual harassment? Is sexual harassment only egregious acts of physical touching or fondling? Does the behavior have to occur more than once before it becomes sexual harassment?

So often, recipients of sexual harassment talk themselves into believing it’s not a big deal with thoughts like this:

  • “Don’t be so sensitive. It’s just a joke.”
  • “That is a really nice skirt. Can’t you take a compliment?”
  • “Is it really that bad if they’re looking at you? Who doesn’t like attention?”
  • “Why do they have to hug me? I guess that’s just what they do.”
  • “The comments are not directed toward me, so I should mind my own business.”

Jokes, comments and actions can be harmful. Don’t justify someone else’s actions. What matters is the impact of their actions. When someone else’s behavior affects you to the point that it interferes with your employment and programs associated with employment, that is the point at which the behavior needs to be addressed.

Sexual harassment is unwelcome conduct on the basis of sex, including verbal, physical, written and visual forms. Employees are encouraged to seek assistance as early as possible to prevent the harassment from continuing and possibly becoming more serious. Whether you are reporting harassment directed at yourself, another employee or a student, the key is to report the incident(s) so any harm can be remedied, the appropriate University personnel can respond and University procedures are followed.

Don’t suffer in silence. There are multiple resources, so choose the one that best meets your needs:

ADVANCE Weekly Roundup: What to do in the moment when being bullied

We have all experienced bullying at work and upon reflection we often think we could have handled the moment better. Each time we think “How could I have responded better?”, “What should I have said?”, “Why is this still bothering me?”  But how? In Liz Kislik’s blog, she shares exercises she uses with her clients to navigate the moments of bullying by a colleague. The first exercise is to ask yourself “Are you safe?” Recognizing that you are safe reduces the grip the bully has on you. The second exercise is to mentally imagine the bully as small and vulnerable standing in the palm of your hand. Since the source of the bullying behavior is insecurity and lack of control, this exercise redirects behavior to focus on the bully and not on the response.  This positions you to act in a manner that is measured and strategic instead of purely reactionary. Measured responses also allow supervisors to better recognize the source of the bullying behavior and hopefully work to correct problematic patterns of poor behavior.  

Today’s feature was shared with us by A3B. If you have an article you think we should feature, please email it to advance-mtu@mtu.edu and we will consider adding it to the ADVANCE Weekly Roundup.

The ADVANCE Weekly Roundup is brought to you by ADVANCE at Michigan Tech, which is an NSF-funded initiative dedicated to improving faculty career success, retention, diversity, equity, and inclusion. To learn more about this week’s topic, our mission, programming efforts, and to check out our growing collection of resources, contact us at (advance-mtu@mtu.edu) or visit our website: www.mtu.edu/advance.

Project Implicit: A Virtual Session on Implicit Bias

Implicit bias is an automatic reaction we have towards other people. These attitudes and stereotypes can negatively impact our understanding, actions, and decision-making.

We will be hosting a virtual session on implicit bias presented by Sylvia Perry, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Psychology at Northwestern University from Project Implicit. The objectives of the Education Session are to raise awareness of our biases; to explore how researchers measure and understand identity-based biases; and to provide actionable steps that we can take to prevent and mitigate the impact of biases. We invite you to join us for this important discussion about how hidden biases we carry from a lifetime of exposure to cultural attitudes and stereotypes may be influencing our decisions and leading to unintended consequences.

Register Now! We will provide a free copy of the book, “Blindspot: Hidden Biases of Good People”, by Mahzarin R. Banaji and Anthony G. Greenwald for a limited number of Tech faculty and staff registering for the Project Implicit event on a first come, first served basis. Complimentary copies of the book will be available to pick up in the Tech Bookstore in the MUB. You will receive an email with further instructions regarding pick-up when the books arrive. If you have questions, contact the ADVANCE Office at: (906) 487-2519 or advance-mtu@mtu.edu

ADVANCE Weekly Roundup: Foundational Strategies to Create Equitable Systems for Faculty

As pandemic effects continue, fostering equitable climates to retain high quality faculty and staff is more important than ever.  The UMass ADVANCE team outlines four foundational strategies: communication, resources, flexibility, and adapting equity-informed strategies. Meaningful communicative interactions and supportive resources are critical to faculty and staff job satisfaction.  In addition, flexible policies and practices remain key through these challenging times, especially those that address pandemic circumstances and impacts with equity-informed strategies. One key equity-informed strategy for TPR committees can be summed up as “Do not let the 25 percent of faculty able to be more productive during the global pandemic set the standard for the 75 percent who are not able to do so.” (University of Michigan Report).  These foundational strategies can help create a climate that benefits all through promoting the value of their contributions, and therefore helps to retain high quality faculty and staff.  

Today’s feature was shared with us by the ADVANCE PI team. If you have an article you think we should feature, please email it to advance-mtu@mtu.edu and we will consider adding it to the ADVANCE Weekly Roundup.

The ADVANCE Weekly Roundup is brought to you by ADVANCE at Michigan Tech, which is an NSF-funded initiative dedicated to improving faculty career success, retention, diversity, equity, and inclusion. To learn more about this week’s topic, our mission, programming efforts, and to check out our growing collection of resources, contact us at (advance-mtu@mtu.edu) or visit our website: www.mtu.edu/advance.

ADVANCE Weekly Roundup: Gender Matters: The Unique Challenges Facing Women in Education

Gendered expectations impact nearly every aspect of our professional and personal lives, but we can learn to push back against biases.  This is what Jennie Weiner, Associate Professor of Educational Leadership at the University of Connecticut, addresses as the guest on Harvard Graduate School of Education’s EdCast with Jill Anderson.  Dr. Weiner is also the co-author of The Strategy Playbook for Educational Leaders (Routledge, 2020). She discusses the gendering of teaching versus leadership roles in American educational institutions (from K-12 to higher ed), the effects of gendered home and caretaking roles on education professionals (especially during the pandemic), and the role of intersectionality in addressing the complex systems of inequity in education work.  The podcast recording and transcript of the discussion are available

Today’s feature was shared with us by ADVANCE Advocates and Allies. If you have an article you think we should feature, please email it to advance-mtu@mtu.edu and we will consider adding it to the ADVANCE Weekly Roundup.
The ADVANCE Weekly Roundup is brought to you by ADVANCE at Michigan Tech, which is an NSF-funded initiative dedicated to improving faculty career success, retention, diversity, equity, and inclusion. These articles are available on the ADVANCE Newsblog (https://blogs.mtu.edu/advance/). To learn more about this week’s topic, our mission, programming efforts, and to check out our growing collection of resources, contact us at (advance-mtu@mtu.edu) or visit our website: www.mtu.edu/advance.

ADVANCE Weekly Roundup: The ongoing challenge of childcare availability that has been heightened by the pandemic.

The pandemic has heightened awareness of the challenges of access to quality child care at campuses around the country, and the inequities that result when this child care is not available. This is not a new challenge, but it is one that universities are clearly going to need to help address to retain quality faculty, staff and students. For this weekly roundup, we are drawing attention to the Graduate Student Government report on childcare needs at Michigan Tech that was shared recently in Tech Today. Since it was shared during a busy week at the end of the semester, we wanted to be sure to give people a second opportunity to review it.

Today’s feature was shared with us by the ADVANCE PI Team. If you have an article you think we should feature, please email it to advance-mtu@mtu.edu and we will consider adding it to the ADVANCE Weekly Roundup.
The ADVANCE Weekly Roundup is brought to you by ADVANCE at Michigan Tech, which is an NSF-funded initiative dedicated to improving faculty career success, retention, diversity, equity, and inclusion. These articles are available on the ADVANCE Newsblog (https://blogs.mtu.edu/advance/). To learn more about this week’s topic, our mission, programming efforts, and to check out our growing collection of resources, contact us at (advance-mtu@mtu.edu) or visit our website: www.mtu.edu/advance.

May 8, 2020 ADVANCE Weekly Roundup: Special Edition

Today for a special edition of the ADVANCE Weekly Roundup, we’d like to highlight some of the challenges facing faculty and staff while working from home during the pandemic. It should be noted that while everyone encounters them, these challenges can have a larger impact on women and primary caregivers. This list has been compiled from faculty comments, our own experiences, or reports in the national news.

Childcare challenges: despite ongoing demands for research and publishing, childcare remains inadequate both during the academic year and throughout the summer. In addition, local schools are unlikely to follow the same timeline as Michigan Tech’s return to work, leaving parents responsible for temporary solutions.

Healthcare challenges: caring for ill family members can drain a faculty member’s energy and focus yet this responsibility is often immediate, demanding, and isolating. 

Underlying conditions: the critical impact of often invisible underlying health conditions has been magnified in the current pandemic but these conditions must be managed daily and often with little or no recognition or support for the challenges involved.

Stress and challenges to mental well-being: there are insufficient resources for faculty and staff both on campus and in the local area for addressing stress, burn-out, and well-being in ways that are confidential, readily available, and move beyond or at least personalize self-help measures to adjust to individual levels of motivation, abilities, and resources.


If you recognize these issues, one avenue for change is through more responsive university policies. It is time to advance concrete proposals for employee support across all campus units. One way to start is to contact your University Senate representative.

The ADVANCE Weekly Roundup is brought to you by ADVANCE at Michigan Tech, which is an NSF-funded initiative dedicated to improving faculty career success, retention, diversity, equity, and inclusion.  Contact us to learn more about this week’s topic, our mission, programming efforts, and to check out our growing collection of resources. (advance-mtu@mtu.edu, website: www.mtu.edu/advance).

May 1, 2020 ADVANCE Weekly Roundup

Burnout. That feeling of emptiness coupled with a lack of motivation and emotional and physical exhaustion. By this point in the “Stay Home, Stay Safe” quarantine we’re probably all feeling it in some aspect of our lives. But with at least 2 more weeks left at home, it’s important that we all get through it. Doing just that, beating burnout, is the topic of this week’s ADVANCE Weekly Roundup. From Inside Higher Education, this week we’re bringing you tops on how faculty (and others too!) can beat burnout in this time of upheaval.

https://insidehighered.com/advice/2020/04/28/advice-faculty-help-them-avoid-burnout-during-pandemic-opinion

The ADVANCE Weekly Roundup is brought to you by ADVANCE at Michigan Tech, which is an NSF-funded initiative dedicated to improving faculty career success, retention, diversity, equity, and inclusion. Contact us to learn more about this week’s topic, our mission, programming efforts, and to check out our growing collection of resources. (advance-mtu@mtu.edu; website: www.mtu.edu/advance)